How was everyone’s day today? Was anyone else named “Man of the Year”? Not by Empire magazine, obviously, because they named Chris Hemsworth “Man of the Year” today, not you. Hey, me neither! But maybe someone else named you “Man of the Year,” I don’t know, I hope so, you seem great. Not only is Chris Hemsworth having a good day, he’s having a good year, thus “Man of the Year”! He tells some really fun stories about his life and career. For example:

“It is strange because you almost forget that this just doesn’t happen that often. I was talking to Matt Damon and he goes to me, ‘So Snow White did pretty good?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I think it’ll probably hit $400 [million], but it’s not Avengers numbers.’ And he goes ‘Man!’ and he shook his head. ‘You’re f***ing ruined — 400′s huge!’ It’s like my brain thinks, ‘That’s the norm now, that’s the benchmark.’ Which, Jesus, I don’t think anything will ever come close. It’s almost as if I’ve been ruined for the rest of my career regarding box-office expectations.”

See? Fun stuff. Personally, my day is going fine, I guess. It’s kind of cold and rainy, and we all have things in our lives that we wish were going differently, but on the plus side, I was worried that I was going to be stuck at home all day because the gas company was scheduled to come anytime between 1 and 5 to light the pilot light on my oven, but they came at 2PM so it wasn’t even that big of a deal. Little blessings. The smallest blessings. You? How are you?!

Comments (175)
  1. I am super, Gabe! I had leftover turkey in a soup for lunch and it was very good, so yay for culinary exploration. I am also reading a pretty good book (The Terror by Dan Simmons if you are interested), and I get to leave work in 17 minutes which is nice. It is disconcerting to see Brad Pitt in the ‘killing them softly’ ad to the right pointing a gun at the comment box, however, so I will move this along before he gets impatient. Hi Brad, you are handsome please don’t shoot me!

  2. Guys! I am going on thing that greatly resembles a date tonight. And it is terrifying! Partially because I don’t 100% remember what the guy looks like, because I was really drunk when I met him. Yikes to my life choices.

    I have to go out with work people first and I keep reminding myself I can’t drink all the whiskey to calm my nerves, because being drunk twice in a row is a bad decision.

    wish me luck!

    • good luck neverabadidea, I am sure it’s true love

    • You know what’s great about a first date? The stakes are unbelievably low. Just go out and enjoy yourself, and if the date sucks you can always just get drunk and kiss the whole thing up to the whiskey gods!

    • if you met him kinda drunk, he likely knows you as you really are, so take that as a positive and relax!

    • Good luck! I think two whiskeys is a good nerve-calming number.

    • Hey, if there’s an awkward silence, here’s something you can tell your date! I made the cornbread thing you linked me to. Simply explain to your date what videogum is, how we’ve never actually met, and how three weeks later I told you the recipe was a delight — voila, an attractive conversation.

      I made the cornbread thing on November 11 and people liked it so much that we bought the ingredients to do it again as a kind of Thanksgivingish quiche (it is kind of a cornbread quiche!) for brunch on Friday the 23rd. But then we had so much food left over that day, and no one needed to eat till dinnertime anyway, so we canceled brunch. So the ingredients are waiting, ready to go, and sure to be used. Thanks!

      • yay! isn’t it the best recipe ever? I didn’t make it on Thanksgiving, but made it two days later. Also, quiche is super tasty and cornbread quiche sounds ten times better than cornbread pudding.

  3. I took a Meyers-Briggs personality evaluation today and found out that I am ENFJ. Anyone else ever do one of these? Also, I ate TWO salads.

  4. Got a good haircut today, so there’s that.

    You know what one of the weirdest things about losing your hair is? The longer you let it get, the less hair it looks like you have. There is no spoon.

    • Right? I always used to have a big jewfro, but recently I’ve been cutting it clippers-short, and everyone’s like “Wow. It looks so good!” and I’m like “Yay! I look less bald!”

  5. i am about to put in my 2 weeks notice. that is exciting and scary and everything in between. on top of that I have my wife’s friends in from Seattle for another wife’s friend’s wedding this weekend and a third friend with breast cancer just got an incredibly positive diagnosis….a weekend of celebrations lie ahead. now if i could only shake this cough…..

  6. I’m doing aight, I guess… My dog caught 3 frisbee throws in a row today, our new record. And my fantasy basketball team just jumped into 1st place which is kinda sweet. Oh yeah, I also won powerball last night, sooo… not bad?

  7. I’m seeing our friend Nick Kroll tomorrow! That should be fun

  8. not so great, you guys!

    i finally finished the artwork for my stupid band’s stupid album the other day after months and months of work, and sent proofs to my bandmates to show them everything. the singer – who had been indifferent AT BEST throughout the whole process whenever i showed them works-in-progress and tried to get their input – responded with a big long email that basically began with “so this is a joke, right?” and continued with several paragraphs of passive-aggressive variations on “i hate this, do it my way” in regards to EVERY SINGLE part of it.

    and the part that pissed me off the most: about a week ago i was texting our guitarist about the artwork, and i told him that i had put a little dedication to one of my oldest, closest friends (and HUGE fan of ours) who had died while we were working on the album in the liner notes, nothing big, just “for [her name]” at the bottom of the page, but that i hadn’t mentioned it to the singer because somehow i felt like he would be against it. the guitarist reassured me that that was crazy, and that he had my back in the unlikely event that he said anything. and then, a week later, towards the bottom of his email: “and lastly, i REALLY don’t like the ‘for [her name]‘ in the liner notes.” i can’t even

    tl;dr my stupid band are fighting and are probably going to break up without releasing the stupid album we spent two years and probably thousands of dollars on and without ever getting the chance to be real band with a music video with gabe in it and everything.


    i’m sorry for ranting you guys. here’s not-particularly-sad kelly conaboy eating a whole fish:

    (i’m also sorry it’s so small; kelly should really post a higher-res version of that pic to better facilitate photoshop hi-jinx.)

  9. I’m fine I suppose, but like Gabe said, it’s kind of rainy & dreary. I went out to a nice dinner with my mom & wife last night and had a way-too-unhealthy fancy pizza. I have a new kitten at home that we rescued from the streetz and I keep having strange worries about the horrible things that could happen to her while I’m at work, even though I know I shouldn’t. But I did get to enjoy the kitten sleeping on my lap while petting my older cat on the couch the other night. Living the dream.

  10. I’m making paper snowflakes and catching up on Parenthood-Kristina’s surgery episode- instead of doing any work. Cutting (paper not myself!) and crying is incredibly exhausting and time consuming!

  11. I am so great! I got my unemployment claims denial overturned today! November has been a great month, what with that, the knitting store job, the giant hole in our bathroom underneath our neighbors’ toilet that they aren’t going to fix until next week, and a cold that ruined my three-day weekend, I am loving it.

  12. My day (and also kind of my week, and maybe also my last week) has not been so great because of some cruddy human emotion stuff, but I have somewhat improved my day by changing the contact name of the cause of the cruddy emotions to “Bad Idea.” Now I will be much less tempted to get in touch, because I will be reminded “Hey, that is a bad idea.” If I continue to be blue, I will change the contact name of my dearest pal to “All the puppies” and then get him to call me repeatedly.

  13. I am having a good day! Or at least not a bad one. Work has settled down considerably, which is very nice. I got a weird look from a bank teller when I went to deposit a check from my brother which had “You know what you did” written on the memo line.

    Now I’m just looking forward to going home and watching The Vampire Diaries and playing my guitar, which until recently I hadn’t picked it up in years. I’m trying to start up again, but with limited success because the sounds that come out of it are not very nice. I’ve figured out the formula of why that’s happening, but I don’t know how much weight each factor gets: Inherent Shittiness of Instrument + Habitual Neglect of Instrument + User Error

    • a.) My favorite part of the Vampire Diaries is the grotesque tech product placement. I would watch hours of vampires trying out “Mi-Fi” in witch haunted house basements and werewolf hybrids using a stylus to text for no reason when they’re driving talking cars.
      b.) What did you do?

      • a.) My favorite part of The Vampire Diaries is everything except Bonnie and Jeremy. Including the aforementioned ridic tech product placement.
        b.) I’ll never tell!

  14. I’m okay. Count Clark Kent turned out to be a crazy person, but there is another gentleman on the horizon… I had an interview this morning for a job that was advertised as being in my neighbourhood, but when I looked up the actual address it’s like an hour away. Good job and they loved me, but I’m commuting an hour during the morning rush for it. I tried something new with my hair today and it looks exceptionally good! I switched Catticus Maximus to a different pet food and now he doesn’t fart so much in his sleep and I’ve been letting him sleep in the bed with me which is nice and cozy because it’s so fucking cold out. It snowed today though! Which is bad! And I need to buy new boots!

    • PS, should be I’m *not* commuting an hour during the morning rush for it.

    • Oh no! Sorry to hear that guy turned crazy! Bummer.

    • Deets on the nutso!

      • Well, he stopped IN THE MIDDLE OF SEX to tell me he wasn’t sure if he still had feelings for me. So I kicked him out of my apt and he got really mad at me for kicking him out. Then we talked about it and agreed to meet and see how we felt about each other (he is the one who wanted to meet, btw) but then he was like “No, I can’t meet you I will be too turned on and I won’t be able to resist you!” and I said, well if there are no feelings there are worse ways to end things than with empty sex and he was like “It’s not empty sex! I like you so much!” so I said, ok then we will see if we like each other enough to make it work and he was like “But I don’t have any feelings for you!” so finally I said, listen it’s obviously not going to work (left unsaid: because you are apparently a 13 year old girl and you change your mind every 3 minutes) so let’s just cut it off now. And he replied “Sounds good, I can’t wait to see you when I’m back from Argentina in Jan ;) ” I feel like we’re somehow not having the same conversation?? Anyway he is tall and handsome and funny and a count, but definitely not worth the effort. NEXT, PLEASE!

  15. So last time I commented I was excited because I was starting to get the hang of this whole motherhood thing….well things have taken a weird turn. I went to the doctor yesterday with the kiddo thinking I had a little infection and needed to get on some antibiotics. Turns out it was a wicked horrible infection and I had to have emergency surgery, with the kiddo in the next room being watched by nurses. I had to refuse general anesthesia, because of the kiddo, and I somehow needed to drive myself home after said surgery. The husband is currently out of town for the next month and my in laws left on vacation yesterday, so I really didn’t have anyone to help in the middle of the day. There was more drama with traffic and local anesthesia running out, but I don’t need to write a dissertation about that. However, fun fact about boobs, they are magical and don’t heal like normal areas of your body, you can’t just sew the wound shut. So I’m currently sitting here with a giant hole in my boob, an actual hole. Luckily, my mom was able to fly here last night to help with the kiddo, and the doctors are saying I should be better in 7-14 days, but this really wasn’t how I was planning on spending my last month home with the kid.

  16. I’ve been studying for my LSAT for the past 2 months, and I’m 2 days away and terrified. So today was terrifying.

    • you will do fine. it is not that bad. my ex boyfriend went to jail the night before i had to take mine and my car was impounded with all of my school things so i showed up on a bike ten minutes late with no pencil and i still did well. and i am not that smart at all.

      seriously though, i wrote my essay on how much the lsat sucks and the question they asked for the written portion was racist and i did well. you have nothing to worry about.

    • Good luck freshie! Remember, it gets better, unless you go to law school, which is much worse than the LSAT, and then take the bar, which is much worse than anything.

    • Good luck! And be warned: often test centres will make you sit and wait in anticipation for over 30 minutes before you can even get into writing the test. Imagine this (my) situation. You have been waiting to write the LSAT for over two months, you finally get into the room and are more anxious than ever to begin, and you find yourself sitting quietly in a room full of 40 people who are just as anxious. No one is speaking beyond the occasional cough, and everyone is just staring at the proctors waiting for something to happen. 45 minutes later they finally pass the tests out and it begins. I’m not sure this is standard practice, or if there was something going on stopping the test from going ahead, but it was just short of psychological torture lasting 45 minutes.

    • Trust your test prep. You’ve got this.

      And don’t go to any law school unless it’s top-tier or they give you a ton of money so you don’t end up with the debt of a small country. Believe me.

  17. Going pretty well, thanks for asking. I am going on a date thing this weekend and sort of maybe excited about it. I wore thick enough socks for the weather and remembered how great scarves are. I’m about to finish the series of trashy supernatural novels I’ve been reading, which will be way fun. Annnnd the grocery delivery people accidentally gave me an extra bag of fancy chocolate chips.

    • I thought you wrote that you were annoyed that the grocery delivery people gave you extra chocolate, and I could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong with you.

  18. i finally received my final paycheck from my last job, after threatening to go to the department of labor and tell on them.

    i was told that i was a “fucking bitch who could die” because i parked in this dudes spot when i was picking up my check. he told me he was going to “fuck my car up” and i flipped him off and he told me “show me that middle finger again bitch.” so i flipped him off again and he did nothing. the who exchange was quite awkward and made me feel bad for him because his day was probably going pretty badly.

    i ran three miles and did an abdominal workout.

    and then i figured out my class schedule for the upcoming semester. it is my first semester back in school since 2009. i am scared shitless but also kind of excited to not have to wait tables for five months (until i graduate and there are no jobs for my shitty liberal arts major and i have to wait tables yet again).

  19. It’s drizzling lightly in LA right now, which means everybody has lost their ever-loving minds. I feel like I’m handling it pretty well, so today hasn’t been too bad. I was almost punished by the sidewalk this morning due to my lack of rain-appropriate footwear, but I saved myself with some fancy balancing techniques. So I’ll put a check in the win column for that today.

  20. I went wedding dress shopping with my mom today, so that was very fun! Then I came home and Duke was standing on the couch howling, and he had also pooped on the floor while I was out. I feel like his housebreaking is getting worse? Like last night my fiance and I were playing with him and he ran to get his squeaky toy and then just squatted and pooped while looking me in the eye! Some serious We Need to Talk About Kevin shit going on there.

    I’m reading May We Be Forgiven, and it is good so far. Jeb! Weren’t you reading this? (I know you were, because I remembered someone was reading it so I googled “videogum may we be forgiven” so I’m not sure why I’m phrasing this like a question.)

  21. I bought new sneakers, cleaned my house, and made some t-shirts today. All much more fun than it actually sounds. Or maybe I’m just very boring? Also I get to see High on Fire tonight (!!!).

    On a side note, I’m sad I haven’t had a chance to comment as much lately, but you guys are all killing it in the funny department. Keep it up, Gummos!

  22. It’s cold and rainy outside. I want to make a fire, but I don’t have enough wood. I’m going to a meeting later for an anti-coal rally next week. I need to finish a project but, instead, I keep snuggling with my dog because it’s cold and rainy and he’s very warm and lovely. So all in all fine I guess… though my lunch was disappointing. I need a nap, too.

  23. I feel a little sick, and I’m freaking out about a paper I have due Monday on a topic the professor only discussed in terms of what the topic was going to be.

    I just came back from pizzeria where the owner(?) halfway through my meal started yelling at his workers for everything. Never coming back. It’s a tiny place, don’t freaking yell your displeasure with your staff. Weirdo.

  24. It’s my boyfriend’s work’s holiday dinner tonight and we are smuggling flasks in, so that should be fun. The only annoying part is having to “look nice” or whatever. Dressing up is the worst.

    • DISAGREE, dressing up is the best! Provided you don’t have to do it all the time, then yeah it’s the worst, but what kind of fancy pants are you that you dress semi-formal all the time??

      • I love dressing up for special occasions too! Apparently my new station throws a big deal party every year and I’m pretty excited for it! They rent out the restaurant in the arena where the Magic play!

    • My work’s holiday dinner is eating greasy/saucy foods in the hallway on our laps without knives. Then my boss comments on the food we have on our plate. It ends when she gets pissed that no one thanks her for the party which comes from money that is supposed to be used to get us office supplies that we really need.
      This year I’m skipping all of this when the date is set and taking the day off.

  25. YO L.A. MONSTERS DO YOU WANT TO MEET? I’ve been thinking we should do a meet-up for a while, and now I see brrrrrian and wi_ngo both live in L.A., which I did not know before today. There are at least seven or eight of us, so if people are interested, it wouldn’t be hard to hit critical mass.

    • YES please.

    • They’ve had LA meetups before. I think their local werttrew is Kajusx?

      • GAH WHAT’RE YOU DOING TO ME, Chris?! Have you leave of your senses?! I’m all for meet ups, but how am I werttrew?! That man is SO responsible, and organized, and he puts PLANS into ACTION!
        I drift thru whole weeks without accomplishing ONE thing.

        Whew. OK! Sorry, I just had to freak out a bit at the possibility of being viewed as a put-together person. I am for sure down for L.A. meet up stuff. Fo’. Sho’. They’re fun!

        I’m good at showing up to places! I amke it to appointments, movies, my friends’ places on tight time tables. But I am the worst for picking spots, scouting, making informed decisions, instinctively knowing what is best for the group, etc.

        I cannot recall any set organizer for previous LA monster meetups. I think it varies meet up to meet up.There was a meet-up for drinks at the Thirsty Crow. Bowling and karaoke was another time. Some monsters met up to go see roller derby. Some meet ups have been attending comedy shows and having drinks after. Some monsters have gone to music concerts. There have been sub-factions of meet ups depending on the day and availability of any set of given monsters.

        So basically, whoever has the bug should take the temperature of the room so they can make an informed decision to move on what day would be best for attendance, I believe someone seconds the movement, everyone says cheers, and then we meet up and people take pictures of you then photoshop ‘Deal With It” sunglasses on your face.

    • Totes down.

    • And don’t forget to come to this. Chicago , April 20th

    • I would participate.

    • I would be theoretically interested!

  26. 1. I creeped out a guy walking his dog, who was smiling at me, by asking him who the cousin from Perfect Strangers was. I am the personification of Yahoo Answers.
    2. I bought way too much beer cause at Binny’s because I was in Lincoln Park then found out we have one in the South Loop. Also I went in twice because I had to use the bath room the second time.
    3. Falcons win tonight.
    4. Here’s a picture of Canela in the park:

    5. Just how human was Robocop? Like, he ate baby food but you never saw him pooping. And he sounded like a robot so I’m guessing he didn’t have lungs either. Does Robocop poo baby-like poo?
    6. Why do animals go off to die by themselves? How do it know?
    7. I ran into some guy I barely know in the street yesterday and he kept kissing my forehead. What do you do in those situations?
    8. A bunch of different girls kept looking at me in the street today and I thought I was the Next Idris Elba until one of them told me I had chocolate on my nose.

  27. Nothing bad happened today, but I’m still in a bad mood from last night so it feels like a crummy day. Reading about everyone else’s days makes me feel better, however, which makes me happy that we’re still doing this.

  28. i went to the doctor for the first time in forever (like, i don’t know when I went last) because I’ve had some weird stomach pains for a while and im a worrier and it was driving my brain crazy. they took blood and urine and i’m going to have a ct scan, which sounds really scary. but im glad i went and hope it’s nothing bad and all. my parents are obviously worried becuase they live like 3000 miles away, but i feel like this was a big step to becoming a grown-up; having a problem and then trying to do something about it. so im hope im ok and all, but really i hope this starts a new process where i go to the doctor more often than once every 12 years.

  29. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately. Last night I made dashi-poached flounder, making dashi for the first time, and it was surprisingly easy! Also, a couple of weeks ago I went to brunch with the wurst and lizzzing and we were talking about Japanese food and they were like “Oh, you probably go to that Japanese market all the time” and I was like “what japanese market?” and they were like “the one down the block.” and I was like “I’ve lived here 5 years and I’ve never seen a japanese market.” and they were like “oh. it’s there.” So I went to where they said it was and lo and behold there was what looked from the outside like a crappy bodega, with a sign that said “Family Market.” I went inside and holy shit! It was all full of japanese specialty foods! And like hardcore weird stuff that had no English on it anywhere. I was so excited! I bought kombu and bonito and togarashi and 3 different kinds of miso and brown rice vinegar and noodles and pickles. I went a little crazy. But that’s what I used for the dashi. So, thanks, the wurst and lizzing!

  30. I’m definitely having a good day overall. My good friend is coming over so we can have a future Dictators of the World meeting aka I’m making soup and we’ll drink wine while watching Parks and Recreation. I just put up my holiday decorations, most of which were bought after Christmas last year, so I’m very excited to have someone over. I’ve only had my own place for a year and I still get excited about entertaining my friends there. I really wanted to have a holiday party but so did everyone else in my social circle, so all the December weekends are already taken, alas. Maybe next year.

    • I am going to make decorations this weekend! I usually don’t do anything for Christmas except have visits with people, but for some reason I want to decorate and do fancy baking this year. Maybe living alone for the first time? Anyway, the girls are coming over Saturday and I’m going to draw a tree and a fireplace on a giant piece of paper and we’re going to make decorations to go on them and hang stockings and make cards for people! And then next weekend I have a Christmas baking date and we’re going to make gingerbread houses out of home-made gingerbread and molasses cookies and spice cake with fruits!

      • I didn’t think I would be as excited about it, but I have a mantle and an old fireplace (no longer functional but still pretty) and my mum gave me gorgeous stockings and a few ornaments, so I just rant with it last year.
        That sounds like the most wonderful date of all time! I hope it goes fantastically well (though it sounds pretty fool-proof)!

  31. My day was okay, not great, not bad…I got some ideas for Christmas gifts and some others arrived in the mail and I basically know what I’m getting everyone which is a nice relief. Tuesday night we decorated for Christmas and my cat is so cute sitting under the tree. I love this time of year! Now I’m watching King Ralph!

  32. Today has been really good! I got to share books and songs with babies and toddlers this morning, and they were all even more adorable than usual this morning, so that was really fun. My coworker who had a kidney transplant in August is coming back to work on Sunday, and I can’t wait to see her. And, after reading videogum for a long time, I finally got the courage to comment. Yay!

  33. My day’s been pretty chill. Work was work. I think someone in my department quit but nothing’s been announced so I don’t know for sure. Right now Liz Lemon’s getting married and it’s kind of cute. I got to ride on the big long bendy straw bus going home and that was fun. There was a little girl on the bus who, on Monday, looked at me, frowned, and shooed me away with her hand. For the record, this is a different little girl than the one who sassed me a few weeks ago. So now I have that to think about, that I guess I’m no good with kids and they hate me and I should probably never have children.

  34. My day was long but ok. I have this class that meets for a whole day every other week and it’s hard to be smart for an entire day. I’m ok in short bursts, but all day? I also feel like my professors have a lot of expectations of me and I don’t know if I’m even coming close to meeting them. They are very hard to read. Bonus, I lost my voice today.

  35. Today was alright, got to sleep in a bit since my mom came over to watch my son. She took him to her place a day early so I am going to the mall tonight to try yet again to find a good foundation (being a girl is hard y’all). I like going to the mall with the kid but it’s much quicker and more relaxing without him, though I do miss him. Tomorrow we are having fondue for dinner which is not something we can do with him around. All in all pretty bittersweet since he’s not here but not bad either!

  36. ankle is still broken, class is almost done for the semester, need to rob a bank or marry a wealthy widow to pay for tuition/rent/physical therapy, on the upside new 30 rock and parks and rec tonight

  37. So today is the first day in a bit where I have not smoked cigarettes. I’ve ceased to smoke a number of times before, so I am familiar and comfortable as I can be with the cravings that follow suit as you ride out the chemical addiction, but I always forget I know what that feels like until I am actually experiencing it. The four days of detoxing are not the hard part. It’s the habit of it all that gets me. Smoke breaks, etc. The ritual sucks me back in every time. But every time I’ve stopped I’m like, “Oh yeah, I can handle this. I remember what this feels like.” I do feel I need to quit, I own a book about it that I need to crack open, and the next time I stop I would like to stop for good.

    But that’s not what my situation is today: I’m just broke until tomorrow. Well, technically 9pm tonight. smoooooooooke.

    I know it’s gross, guys.

    • I tried to quit – and actually did quit for weeks at a time – I don’t know how many times before I finally really quit for good. Way to jinx yourself, Simon. But it’s been more than three years now and I can’t see myself going back. The trick, for me, was poverty. It was eat or smoke. I didn’t have a job so I didn’t have coffee breaks acting as a trigger either. My life for months was little more than exercising and drinking green tea and reading and, in the early stages, meditating. My point is, it’s fucking hard! I’m sure there are many ways to approach the problem but the only thing that worked for me was retreating from every possible trigger or situation that would make me want to smoke. Just going my own way and letting the world and all its stress go some other way. So I guess I’m saying… join a monastery?

      This is not the encouragement I meant to offer. It’s hard but it can be done! 8)

  38. Today is my birthday! I’m turning 35, which is incomprehensible, especially because the last, let’s say, five years have been a string of disappointments and failures for me, leaving me feeling useless. I had big goals when I was in my twenties! Now I feel I have accomplished nothing meaningful or lasting in any area of my life. I haven’t even had a real job since 2010.
    So anyway I was prepared to have a pensive and reflective birthday, rather than a “happy” birthday as such, but my body had other plans — after feeling completely fine yesterday I woke up this morning with some sort of flu or monster cold or something. I have felt simply wretched all day, lying in bed and drinking tea and broth, which sounds sort of fun I guess, but actually wasn’t. I think this may be my worst birthday since the day I turned 5 in 1982, which was mostly spent in an emergency room getting stitches in my head.
    And THEN i got an email from my doctor, informing me that, for the *first time* since I was diagnosed with HIV three and a half years ago, my T-cell count is finally above 200. This is great news!! It means I can theoretically stop taking my antibiotics, which I’ve been swallowing every day for all these years (as prophylaxis against pneumonia). Being on antibiotics for more than three years just doesn’t seem right, y’know? My HIV has never really made me sick in any serious way, except right when I was first diagnosed; it honestly hasn’t been that big a deal in my life. But 200 T-cells is the (arbitrary) threshold that the CDC has decided on — below 200 and you officially “have AIDS.” It’s been a frustrating and frankly a little scary thing to have hanging over me all this time.
    So to recap: I turned 35, I got the flu, and I got some good news about the strength of my compromised immune system. Let’s rate the day as “mixed.”

    • Sorry about your HIV. I have many stupid questions but I don’t want to offend you or anyone else for that matter. I will Google. Thanks for sharing.

    • Huzzah! I was a case manager in an HIV clinic last year and basically spent every day freaking out over other people’s CD4 counts, so I am excited for you. I’m sorry you’re sick and that this birthday was crap and that life is disappointing so much of the time, but it’s great that your immune system is doing its thing these days and you can take fewer stupid pills. I hope you have some fun post-birthday celebrationy things coming your way.

  39. My day was pretty nice! It’s my “Saturday” so I just chilled. This is the first day in like 2.5 weeks that I’ve been able to just unwindulax, what with driving to and fro for the holidays, having family come in, and starting my new job.
    I actually slept until I woke up of my own accord which was beautiful. I caught up on my Internetting. I worked out. I ate lunch on the back porch because it was such a beautiful day. I watched a fair amount of TV I had DVRed.
    Now I’m going to watch this new episode of Elementary and then maybe read. I’ve been reading Anna Karenina which I’ve been enjoying, but it’s not really a page turner, you know? So it’s taking me a while. There’s a lot of Levin contemplating his farming methods right now. So maybe I just need to plough (lololol) through that.

    • I remember thinking Tolstoy needed an editor when I read that book. But don’t let it turn you off Tolstoy. War and Peace is pretty close to perfect, if you haven’t already read that.

    • I’m stealing “unwindulax”

      Waking up without an alarm clock is a glorious thing. In fact, I aim to be like Kramer and set my internal alarm clock.

  40. I am still freaking out about the previous “he’s seen my t*ts” video, so I’m having a hard time focusing on how my day went, but I’ll try. I am super excited to report that I am learning the fine art of grant writing. I completed my first grant application today and will find out if we got any money by the end of the year. I’ve always wanted to do this, so it’s so nice to actually be given an opportunity. We had an employee lunch today that was catered, and that was nice. Lots of homemade desserts that I ate too much of. I’m also involved with an upcoming fundraiser for pediatric cancer research (the buddy of my teenage son has a brain tumor and has recently had to withdraw from college and is on hospice care at home), and several people donated money and items for our silent auction, and that was heartwarming to see. It’s especially gratifying when people the boy doesn’t even know come forward. It’s difficult to see this happen to this boy, but I’m grateful that I can do at least something to help him fulfill his last wish for a successful fundraiser. So, a pretty good day.

    • Newbie, I may be hitting you up for advice soon. I’m only funded for 6 semesters (to get through comps) and then I’m on my own…I am not looking forward to it.

  41. Today, I demonstrated competency in handling certain safety equipment on railroad tracks. It was a good day.

  42. I bought the newest Discworld book today – Snuff – because I’m getting nowhere with Cryptonomicon. I have no idea where Stephenson is going with it and for some reason that’s annoying me. Something to do with how aggressively he’s trying to shove information into my brain without, I don’t know, massaging my feet first… not that I would actually enjoy having my feet massaged. A guy at university once tried to massage my feet and neither of us were gay, just very drunk, and it was weird. Not just because he was a guy. Actually, I remember now that a former girlfriend really wanted to massage my feet and so I let her and, yep, didn’t enjoy it at all. How did we got on this topic. Stop talking about foot massages, people!

    The Discworld book is good so far. I read some of it while lying on my side after pouring garlic oil into my ear in the possibly vain hope that it would stop my head from exploding. Anyone have any good ear infection remedies? Or at least alleviations of pain that don’t involve actual pain-killers? Advil makes my heart slow down to 40 beats per minute. I still take it sometimes but it scares the crap out of me.

    I’d say the new Discworld book makes up for the ear infection, so I’m giving this day a thumbs up.

    • Not to bring you back down, but did you hear Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer’s??? I hope he can pump out like 15 more books still… It really bummed me out when I found out about it :(

      • I know! It’s awful. There was an interview with him on the AV Club last week (I think?) and he’s lost his site so he has to dictate his books now. He’s also been working really closely with his daughter, who may take up the series after he’s gone. I really recommend the AV Club article. He’s so wonderful! I’m saving Snuff for Christmas break this year. It’s my present to me!

    • A friend of mine gave me Cryptonomicon for my 16th or 17th birthday, and I finally sat down and read it this year because Neal Stephenson was in town for a book signing. It was MEGA SLOW. Like each individual chapter was probably pretty interesting, but there was no variation in pace or texture, and the book was definitely at least 300 pages too long! I mean I’m glad I read it, and some of it was great, but I don’t think I’ll be reading much more Stephenson.

      • imsteph & Simon, I had a similar experience with Snow Crash. Loved it, but feel no need to read another one of his. Good calls on pacing/texture and the information dumps. I wanted more mafia pizza delivery girl going Buffy on the bad guys. I mean, I wanted to care about the characters, and instead my reaction throughout was “This is a very well-done world, which I respect.”

        • I liked Snow Crash but I can understand why someone wouldn’t. A lot of it is just one character explaining all of Stephenson’s weird ideas while another character goes “uh-huh” and “please continue, this is fascinating.” But I like that Stephenson writes about ideas and gets kind of geekily passionate about them. Even if you didn’t like Snow Crash, Anathem was GREAT. It blew my mind. Worth checking out before you write him off for good.

      • I loved Snow Crash, and then slogged my way through Cyrptonomicon. I rememeber that I thought both were decent books worth a read, but then again, I was fresh out of high school and thought that plaid pants and a leopard trench coat looked good together. I kept Snow Crash but ended up selling Cryptonomicon on ebay. There is no way anyone would ever read a book that large twice.

  43. They’re filming kitchen nightmares across the street and the production team iz great, but Gordan hasn’t come over and told me anything was a dogs dinner :( . But really today has been a really good day like the best day i have had in a while. My boss and i had a photo shoot for gift baskets for work which was hilarious and then we drank some beers, which were well deserved because we have been busting our asses. I love you all xoxoxoxoxo

  44. I missed this post yesterday because I was in a FOUR-HOUR interview where I was interviewed by eight different people, which should give you an idea for how my day was. This was the surprise phone interview people and it went REALLY WELL. DISTURBINGLY WELL. I NEED TO FIGURE OUT IF I SHOULD WARN MY BOSS BECAUSE THEY ASKED FOR MY REFERENCES AND ASKED WHEN I CAN COME IN AGAIN AND SAID THEY WANT TO MAKE AN OFFER BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK.

    I feel kind of bad because my boss is new (two months), I applied for this job two months before he came (when I promotion I had been asking about for eight months got nixed), but he actually seems really interested in giving me what I’ve been asking for, so sorry guy? Which is why I’m thinking about telling him now instead of when I get the offer. Ahhh I don’t know, monsters! Also I am ridiculously fortunate to be in this position when so many people are stuck in jobs they hate/not having jobs.

    • DO NOT tell your boss until you get the offer. It sucks, but that’s the professional businessy way to handle it. You have to be a like a super spy who can’t tell your spouse you’re not really a shoe salesman who travels a lot to examine leathers of the world. Until you get the order to kill your spouse. Then tell. This analogy has fallen apart.

      • Thank you hotspur! I had to ride in a car with my boss to and from a meeting today and the potential awkwardness of THAT situation prevented me from making a bad choice.

        THEN I got the call that my references were “glowing” (and one of my references emailed me to tell me that they asked “what they should do to make sure I stay with them long-term” which I thought was pretty awesome) and I am going in on Monday at 4pm for a final interview and basically if I do not fuck it up they will make me an offer. Conveniently, my boss is not in on Tuesdays and I have a meeting already scheduled with him on Wednesday. Erm, to discuss my job. Sorry, guy.

  45. This story made me cry yesterday, and restored (as much as it could) my faith in humanity:

    Also, how handsome is Larry DePrimo? My knight in shining NYPD armor


  46. “You Scored as Persian
    You are an Persian, The normal house cat but with some nasty manners, you like to pounce your toys when they move and mostly bite and claw them…”

    Yep that sounds about right.

  47. I’ve been sick all week and am now at the “losing-my-taste” stage which clearly sucks. I have also been on my period this week which at first pissed me off because I was like, “Man! Double whammy!” But now I see it as a glass half full because it’s more like killing two birds with one stone.

    So I am cheered a bit at the thought of not being ill this weekend. Also, The Campaign is in the mail for me tomorrow! And I have leftover lasagna to look forward to when my taste returns.

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